3 Cleveland Browns who didn't live up to their contracts in 2023

Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson
Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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1. Deshaun Watson, Quarterback

Recently, Deshaun Watson said he doesn't worry what his doubters say (he used more colorful language than that) and that much of the criticism he faces has to do with his off-field issues.

It’s true that his actions away from the game will always lead to harsher judgment. Even so, Watson seemed rather quick to shrug off complaints surrounding his performance. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Watson, he hasn't played up to his standards. He also hasn’t come close to living up to his massive $230 million contract.

In 2023, Watson had a cap hit slightly above $19 million with a cash value of $46 million. No matter how you slice it, he made more money than his stat line suggests.

Watson played in six games but one was just five snaps. He comepleted 61.4 percent of his attempts for 1,115 yards with seven touchdowns and four picks. The Browns were at least 4-1 when he played the full game and his only loss was a 26-22 defeat in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In that defeat, Watson threw a pick-six on the opening play and also fumbled the ball while being sacked in the fourth quarter. That led to another defensive touchdown.

Looking ahead to 2024, all eyes will continue to be on Watson. This is the most important season of his career. While his contract is guaranteed and the Browns are unlikely to be able to get out of it (without taking a massive cap hit), another rough campaign could be devastating to his future in the NFL.

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